17 thoughts on “Anna’s Job Hunting Academy – Part I

  1. Dear Anna,

    In my opinion, if you are asked what your proudest achievement is, say your son. When you get the job, then you can be open and share your journey. You are not hiding who you are and you are not lying when you say you are interested in counseling.

    Best of luck. I love your blog!!

    Chris

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    1. I see your point and in many ways I agree, and of course that’s the truth anyway – my son eclipses everything. But even so, I feel yucky not laying it out. I feel like I’m betraying myself in a way, because I’m so hellbent on being loud with my recovery in the hope another Anna (or a male version) might hear me and not have to suffer in silence like I did. Good advice though, I will keep thinking it over and I have a whole week to try to figure this out! Thanks for your thoughts on this, much appreciated. 🤗

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  2. I got one of those letters today, the ones that thank you for your interest but no thanks…so that made me laugh (with you, not at the shitty email). I’m inclined to agree with Chris. I’m totally with you on the whole honesty thing AND I’M proud of you too, but if this is a job that you really want, that disclosure could come later on. I used to be great at interview (still might be if I could only GET one), but I know from bitter experience that nobody has ever nodded their head in agreement with me if I’ve mentioned all or some of my greatest achievements (bringing up 3 kids under 4.5 whilst dealing with clinical depression, recovering from associated addictions and said depression all on my fucking own, reversing my diabetes, graduating from college at 50, turning my sodding life around), because they don’t ever consider those things achievements. They just don’t! I think you’re amazing. I think I’M amazing. In fact, there are a number of people I’D hire if I was in that position of power. I’d have you and me way over those twats that don’t get how much of an asset we would be in most jobs just because of how brave and tenacious and fucking honest we want to be.

    Hey, I know this is not advice, but you do and say whatever you think is right for you…from your heart, Anna. Trust in that feeling. If it doesn’t work out, either way, then it isn’t the right job.

    Good luck honey! X

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  3. You said you are good at interviews. Fantastic. I would not mention the fact you’re ‘in recovery’ in an interview. It is none of their business. Get the job that sounds like it suits you, the job interview on Wednesday.
    I do understand how proud you are of your achievement on being sober. I get it 100%, but it isn’t something to mention in a job interview.
    I do understand your honesty though, the wanting to shout from the rooftops that yes damn it “I am sober, it is my greatest achievement.” As you have discovered in your other interviews, let’s call them the practice interviews, telling them up front, it didn’t go well.
    I hate to say don’t mention it but do.

    I am hopeless at interviews. I should add. So take my advice with a grain of salt. However I do have an idea about people who have no idea about addiction. They hear the words ‘in recovery’ and think you couldn’t possibly be sober, couldn’t possibly be strong enough not to drink. They don’t get it. Remember the job interview is not to educate them on addiction. It’s to get a job. To work while you study. And if you happen to get the job and you like it and the people you work with then AFTER you have gotten the said job, IF you choose to share, THEN mention you don’t drink.

    Good luck!

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    1. You’re right… Thank you all for framing it better for me. That made it clearer for me – it’s about the job, not a lecture on addiction. And my recovery has little to do with it I guess. Thank you. Xxxx

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  4. One reason not to talk about recovery in a job interview is because one of the things you’re telling your potential/future employer is that you used to be anything BUT the kind of person they’d want to hire. You’re putting in their head an image (and you’re not in control of what the image looks like) of a drunk, with whatever that brings with it to them. You’re saying, I used to be unreliable and out of control and full of drama and, oh, did I mention unreliable? But now I’m not! It’s like interviewing potential childcare providers for your toddler and one of them proudly tells you how she used to be just TERRIBLE with kids, leaving plugged in power tools and broken glass all over the house and the doors open, but she figured out that that was an awful idea and got herself to put the power tools away and pick up the broken glass and keep doors shut and now her home is safe for kids. Her proudest achievement is figuring out how to keep her home from harming kids. Is that a childcare provider you’d take your kid to?

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  5. First of all, wonderful to see you on video, Anna, you’re lovely… and secondly I SO relate to this whole “telling the truth” vs not spilling my life story thing… I don’t like to hide anything, but maybe (I’m slowly, slowly learning) the simple truth is that some people don’t *want* to know, let alone *need* to know.

    I loved the AA Big Book take on it, which is very clear that in order to be seen as equals in this society and get decent jobs etc. alcoholics need mostly to remain *anonymously* recovering-alcoholic… revealing themselves/ourselves only to those individuals (fellow alcoholics/fellow people desiring to stop drinking) who ask for or need help in that area. And getting hired means they/we can continue to exist and/or function as contributive members of society. Win/win for both sides.

    So perhaps we are not “hiding” who we are but “preserving” who we are — hopefully so that in the long run, others may benefit. ???? Just thoughts rambled…

    Hugs lovely lady 🤗💗

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  6. I’m beginning my own journey and on this particular topic I’m on a further side of the spectrum of truth or avoiding the truth. Avoid it! Don’t say anything about recovery and the past until you’ve shown that you’re reliable employee and add value to your workplace. And perhaps even then you should be moderate about the flow of truthfullness.

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  7. Anna – I unfortunately would have to agree not to bring it up. But I’m pissed too that in today’s world we have to plays these fricken games. Such bullshit having to act and present ourselves in a less then authentic manner when it comes to working for a company. Beyond being a binge drinker I deal with depression like many. I’m 54 and like you don’t like hiding. I hid behind booze for 40 years and that got me nowhere. Have you explored opportunities where you can work for yourself as in a sober coach? I so feel and understand your frustration. Sending hugs.

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    1. Thank you, my friend. Well, you’ve actually suggested the very goal I’m working towards! I’m nearly a quarter of the way towards qualifying as a counsellor and I want to focus on addiction in general as well as problem drinking specifically. There are two other courses I’m also looking to add on when I’m certified: recovery coaching and interventions. The sober coach direction, whilst perhaps a little more directive than traditional counselling, I think would really harness the passion I have for showing others (others who suffer due to drinking) this amazing life that awaits when we break free.

      As for the “hiding” that’s exactly how I feel too, but I agree it’s better perhaps in this instance. It didn’t come up anyway. I guess we’ll have to be patient and work to break down these prejudices and old stigma step by step so that one day it’ll be seen as the mark of honour it SHOULD be seen as to say “I’ve come through recovery/depression” with people recognising this as the show of strength and courage it is.

      Thank you for your thoughts, we’re definitely on the same page. 🙌

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  8. Oh I love this! I’ve only ever admitted to my recovery once in an interview. Didn’t get it as I completely put them off. With a bit more time, I think they’d have come round to my way of thinking and realised how amazing recovery can be. But I didn’t really get the opportunity to explain. Straight off, from the words “alcohol recovery”, I put them off. I’ve been for 3 interviews since (all temp jobs), didn’t mention a thing about my recovery and got them all 🤷🏻‍♀️ it’s a crazy world sometimes.

    P.S. you sound well posh! Xx

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    1. I’m SO not posh! Thanks for this – you’re right, it does put people off… Still, guess we’ll have to work on changing people’s minds until they realise recovery is a huge badge of honour! Xx

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